This is now the fifth edition of the Mock Draft Monday for the New York Jets. In the first four installments, it was what I would do. But this time around, I allowed you guys, the fans, to be the decision makers.
With that being said, there will be no complaining allowed this week as I had no say in any of the picks. In all seriousness, for the limited names given for each pick it turned out to be a class many fans would be on board with. So without further ado, who did the New York Jets fans give to our team?
Round 1, Pick 2
There was no need to waste your guys’ time on this pick. It was going to be a massive blowout in favor of the expected pick, Zach Wilson. Sure, Justin Fields would have gotten some votes but with the way things are leaning, the BYU quarterback will be selected by Joe Douglas as his hand picked face of the franchise.
Selection: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Round 1, Pick 23
Final Results (293 votes)
iOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC – 64.2%
CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern – 21.2%
HB Najee Harris, Alabama – 7.5%
DE Jalaen Phillips, Miami – 7.2%
After taking Sam Darnold’s successor, the team got pretty lucky at the 23rd spot. As you can see, Vera-Tucker ran away from the competition as the need for guard is just as large as it was two months ago. Sure, the former Trojan played left tackle in 2020 but it’s a safe bet that wherever he goes he will get moved inside and thrive, especially when lining up right next to Mount Becton for the foreseeable future. Douglas promised Darnold’s family that he would do what it took to give Sam the help needed to succeed. Unfortunately he did not have enough time to fulfill his side of the promise but he now has a reset to do it for Wilson.
Rest of the field: Newsome was the only one that garnered any legit interest from this group as he received nearly twenty more votes than the other two combined. Newsome, Harris and Phillips would all fill big needs on the roster but they definitely get the most bang for their buck by drafting Vera-Tucker and you agreed with that.
Selection: iOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Round 2, Pick 34
Final Results (309 votes)
WR Kadarius Toney, Florida – 35%
iOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama – 29.4%
CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse – 27.2%
HB Javonte Williams, UNC – 8.4%
This race was much closer than the first round poll and here the Gators were finally able to beat Alabama! In all seriousness though, Toney won this vote by receiving 17 more than Dickerson at the bell. With Mike Lafleur coming from the Shanahan system, many expect him to want to have targets like they had in the Bay Area: Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. In other words, a guy with great yards after the catch ability. Toney, like Samuel can be used in multiple ways. They are both primarily slot receivers at the NFl level but are also able to play out of the backfield and be a “gadget” player for their offense. With Jamison Crowder still on the roster, that could be the primary role for the rookie in 2021. Toney also has experience as a return man which is a role that needs to be filled, as well. But for his role in the offense, this seems to be a group that can be mixed and matched throughout the season with Toney, Crowder, Denzel Mims, Corey Davis and Keelan Cole.
Rest of the field: Considering the lack of depth at cornerback and the fit in the defense, Melifonwu not being the fan vote is a bit of a surprise. He is a lengthy, athletic corner who is made to play in a cover 3 heavy defense. However, I tend to agree it’s a tad too early for him at 34. Landon Dickerson would have been interesting considering Vera-Tucker was the pick at 23. But building the interior line is a priority for many fans and if Dickerson’s medicals clear, he may be gone well before the Jets’ third pick.
Selection: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
Round 3, Pick 66
Final Results (216 votes)
CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia – 59.7%
HB Michael Carter, UNC – 15.7%
OT Spencer Brown, N. Iowa – 13.9%
DE Payton Turner, Houston – 10.6%
Another blowout in the polls. This time, the need for a cornerback was too much to pass on for a third time. Coming from the University of Georgia the Jets would be getting an incredible athlete who can play either zone or man coverage. Campbell has fluid hips and good reaction time to stay with his opposition but there is still some work to be done playing the ball, or finding it, which may be a better way to put it. Getting playing time in year one may not be for the best but definitely a player capable of being a starter in a year or two down the road.
Rest of the field: People may need to put on some Houston film if Turner came in last place here. He fits the four man front the defense will be implementing this season and could be arguably the second best pass rusher on the roster in his first year. Running back just does not seem to be a position many people want in the first three rounds, considering Harris, Williams and now Carter have all gotten less than 16% of the votes in their respective polls.
Selection: CB Tyson Cambell, Georgia
Round 3, Pick 87
Final Results (165 votes)
iOL Kendrick Green, Illinois – 43.6%
TE Brevin Jordan, Miami – 32.7%
OT D’Ante Smith, East Carolina – 15.8%
DE Elerson Smith, N. Iowa – 7.9%
Not going to lie, this was a pleasant surprise. As mentioned before, the interior line is a position group that fans want to fix more so than any other position group and Kendrick Green fits right into that. At Illinois he played both center and guard, showing a skillset much needed considering the only backup center they have is Dan Feeney and he is on a one year deal and was not very good at the center position. Not only that, but Green is a perfect fit for the scheme they likely plan to run in LaFleur’s system. It still remains to be seen whether or not they will likely be more of an outside zone running offense like San Francisco or inside zone like Green Bay, but either way, athleticism is something you want out of your interior linemen, which will not be a problem with this selection.
Rest of the field: Fans almost went with the successor to Chris Herndon in Miami to have him being the successor to Herndon in New York. Having spoken to people that know him, Jordan is a very likeable person, but parts of his skillset as a tight end still needs some tweaking to where spending a third round pick on him may be a little too early.
Round 4, Pick 107
Final Results (180 votes)
HB Trey Sermon, Ohio State- 41.1%
LB Chazz Surratt, UNC – 32.8%
DE Patrick Jones, Pittsburgh – 15.6%
LB Cam McGrone, Michigan -10.6%
Fourth time’s the charm.. Trying to see when fans were ready for a running back, it looks like the fourth round is the sweet spot. With the backfield consisting of Tevin Coleman, Lamical Perine, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams; Joe Douglas is not done. None of those guys are clear cut starters in this league, so once Douglas gets his chance, he will add to the group. There is a decent amount of versatility in the group as is and now bringing in Sermon adds a thumper to the group. How he ended the 2020 season was nothing short of masterful; 524 rushing yards in the Big Ten Championship and College Football Semi-Finals, not to mention being able to show his ability as a pass catcher. Throughout his years at Oklahoma and Ohio State, there were some issues with consistency and vision, causing him to never really be the “go-to” back. But going to an offense (outside zone) where he is not necessarily forced to make decisions right when he gets the ball will put him in a better spot and possibly reach that potential of his.
Rest of the field: I thought the big name of Chazz Surratt could possibly get the win here but offense took the crown. Surratt and McGrone are both athletic linebackers but are slightly different. McGrone needs to be utilized as a blitzer to get the most out of him and that is not what Saleh likes to do with his linebackers, whereas Surratt will likely be the sideline to sideline WILL in a system like this. Patrick Jones is another big name who fits the four man front as well, but there were too many inconsistencies in his game to add him to the rotation for me, although it is decent value for him outside of the top 100.
Selection: HB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 146 AND Round 5, Pick 154
Final Results (45 votes)
DE Shaka Toney, Penn State – 48.9%
OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan – 28.9%
DE Victor Dimukeje, Duke – 20%
S Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh – 2.2%
Since the selections were as close as they were and considering the three that did not get the vote were still on the board at 154, why not use the top two choices here in the fifth round? Toney is an ideal fit in this wide-nine defensive front alignment, bringing great speed and bend to get around the edge. The defense is lacking pure speed rushers beyond Carl Lawson and Toney brings just that. Best case for him in 2021, he cracks the rotation as a third down specialist ahead of Jabari Zuniga and Bryce Huff, but it’s likely that 2022 and on are when he actually sees his playing time. As for Jaylon Moore, this is a reunion of sorts. Jake Moreland was the offensive coordinator for Western Michigan in 2020 and was actually hired by the Jets to be the assistant offensive line coach in Saleh’s new staff. Did you the fans know that? Maybe you remember my tweet when the hire happened, but the likelihood is that it was just a happy coincidence that they are now back together. He gives the team another tackle option who likely would not even see the active roster as a rookie, considering Chuma Edoga and Conor McDermmot are still on the roster. But Moore could potentially be a nice stash option for down the road.
Rest of the field: Dimukeje was mentioned by ESPN’s Matt Miller as the perfect player for Robert Saleh’s system so he was added purely to see how big of a say he had for the voters, but obviously not enough, which is good to see.
Selections: DE Shaka Toney, Penn State AND OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
Round 6, Pick 186
Final Results (145 Votes)
CB Benjamin St. Juste, Minnesota – 57.2%
S Jacoby Stevens – 16.6%
WR Trevon Grimes, Florida – 16.6%
DE Janarius Robinson, FSU – 9.7%
The cornerback group for the Jets is brutal at the moment. Bryce Hall, Bless Austin, Javelin Guidry, Corey Ballentine, Lamar Jackson, those are the names at the position. Two are going into year three and the other two are going into their second season. And now with this selection, they add two rookies, as well. This would likely end Lamar Jackson’s run in New York, especially if they bring in a much needed veteran; Steven Nelson. St. Juste is another outside corner who is a fit for the cover three scheme and someone that brings very interesting size and athleticism. He has experience playing both man and zone but his man coverage needs some work as he can get messed around with by above average NFL route runners, but the upside of St. Juste justifies taking him here early on in the sixth round.
Rest of the field: Between a safety-linebacker hybrid, an outside receiver and the second defensive end, going with the corner made the most sense. Stevens would likely get the most playing time considering the defense does not really have a backup strong safety or a reliable starting WILL.
Selection: CB Benjamin St. Juste, Minnesota
Round 6, Pick 226
Final Results (82 votes)
WR Dax Milne, BYU – 51%
FB Ben Mason, Michigan – 22%
S Shawn Davis, Florida – 15%
DE Jonathon Cooper, Ohio State – 12%
We want to see the Jets do whatever it takes to make Zach Wilson a successful quarterback, right? It’s safe to assume it doesn’t hurt to have someone he’s familiar with joining him as a rookie. Milne was the top target on the BYU offense in 2020, garnering some interest from the NFL very early on. He was used down the field, in the short game and even on some reverses. The former Cougar receiver is not the fastest or the quickest or the strongest but he is just a solid receiver with reliable hands and the ability to get open. In year one Milne likely be the last receiver on the depth chart if he were to make the team, but not one to count out making a contribution of some sort.
Rest of the field: The fullback gang did not come out to take over this vote, not even getting half of what Milne received. The fullback position could potentially be a pretty decent part of the offense if they have the right guy at the position and Mason fits the mold.
Selection: WR Dax Milne, BYU